Born in England in 1957 my family came to Australia in 1966. I grew up in Adelaide, South Australia, where I met and married my husband David. We came together over a mutual love of trains. Both of us worked for the railways for many years, his job was with Australian National Railways, while I spent 12 years working for the STA, later TransAdelaide the Adelaide city transit system. After leaving that job I worked in hospitality until 2008.
We moved to Tasmania in 2002 to live in the beautiful Huon Valley. David passed away in 2015 and I'm here on my own now but I have Cindy the dog and Polly the cat to keep me company.
I currently co-write two Wordpress blogswith my sister Naomi. Our doll blog "Dolls, Dolls, Dolls", and a "Our Other Blog" which is about everything else but with a focus on photographs and places in Tasmania.
This is the time of year when I almost feel like I have gone into hibernation. The weather is wet and it makes going out with the camera unpleasant. I seem to have a month or so like this every winter and end up going back to my photo archives for inspiration.
This photo was taken in April last year. The clouds look smoke tinged so I expect that there was a forest reduction burn that day and it is probably the reason I took the photo.
I wish I’d continued to study languages in high school. I took French and German for the first two years but then I changed schools and French was taught in an entirely different way so I went from an “A” student to a “D” and took most of the year to get up to a “C”. This school did not teach German at all. They taught Latin which I avoided in my previous school as I thought it a waste of time to learn a language I could not use if I travelled. I did enjoy German and I wish I had learned it properly. That was 45 years ago so most of what I once knew I have forgotten.
Are you scared of heights?
I used to think so but actually what I am afraid of is falling. I have no problem taking a glass elevator to the top of a building. In fact I like them although looking through a glass floor in one is a bit unnerving. I enjoy visiting observation towers and riding observation wheels for the views but don’t ask me to climb a ladder or even stand on a chair these days.
Are you a good cook? If so, do you consider yourself a chef?
I’m certainly not a chef. I would say I am an adequate cook. I can cook edible meals and sometimes enjoy baking cakes. I am not interested in food preparation the way that some of my friends are. I never watch food programs on TV. I used to like to experiment with different dishes but as David could not eat most of them I rather lost interest in the end. There are many things I find more interesting than cooking.
What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.
The first King Alfred daffodils bloomed in my garden
Naomi and I spent a nice day together on her birthday last Sunday.
We started clearing up the back room of the Op Shop and it looks a lot more spacious now.
I’ve had both cats and dogs as pets and while I often see my dogs as four legged people when I look at my cats I see the wild creature in them. They may have chosen to live with us but they are not like us.
Watch a cat stalking a bird or even a bug, they are as focussed on their target as if their lives depended on catching their own food. Even Polly who was not allowed outside the house for the first year or two of her life knows how to stalk prey. It’s all instinct.
Polly watching a sparrow.
Polly goes in for the kill.
“Where did it go?”
Polly is interested in the birds in the apple tree.
Cat’s are not needy. Some cats like to cuddle and some don’t. Some love to hang out with you and some are much more independent. One ginger male we had used to follow us to the railway station when we went to work meowing piteously all the way, often he’d be on or near the platform on the opposite side of the tracks in the afternoon when we came home. I don’t know how he learned that but he did.
Most of our previous cats have liked to sit on laps or sleep on the bed. Polly has never wanted to sleep in the bedroom let alone on the bed. She has never been a lap cat either, at least not with me. I was very surprised that over the last week or two she has suddenly decided to curl up on my lap in the evenings but that may have as much to do with the fact that I was sitting in the armchair nearest to the heater as love. She’s sleeping on that chair herself right now and I am banished to the couch.
I’m always amused by the saying “Dogs have owners, cats have staff.” They demand their food, usually at a set time.They demand your food and may help themselves from your plate if you don’t stop them. They will wake you up with a pat on the face if they want breakfast, even at 3 am and they make you get up and let them in or out fifteen times in an evening sometimes coming in one door and going straight out another. If they want to sit on your lap you must accommodate them no matter what you might be doing. Never mind that newspaper you were trying to read or your knitting. Once they are settled you don’t get up out of your chair for fear of disturbing them. I am sure TV remotes were invented by a cat owner.
Then there is Naomi’s cat Tigerwoods who thinks it is amusing to jump into your chair the minute you get out of it. I’ve nearly sat on him more than once. I think that he does that just for a joke but often cats will do something annoying because they want attention and have worked out what action is likely to get it.
Despite their bossy ways I can’t help feeling very privileged when a cat likes me though.
You can’t have a parade without music and preferably live music not canned. Not everyone likes bagpipes but I do. I’ve liked them ever since mum first played me a recording of a pipe band when I was a child. I also like the colours of the clan tartans so seeing a pipe band is a treat for me.
I enjoy the sound of a brass band too especially playing marching music.
Buskers in Salamanca and singers at a protest rally.
Buskers in Salamanca Square
My Favourite Music
Of course that is not the only music I like. Naomi and I went to many rock concerts when we were young and in the early days before there were mobile phones and everyone took pictures at concerts I used to occasionally sneak my camera into a show to take photos. It was forbidden but Thebarton Theatre in Adelaide where we often went was not large and if I didn’t use flash they didn’t notice although I kept waiting for the hand on my shoulder and confiscation of my film. Most of the pictures were not great but I got one set of New Zealand band Split Enz that I was very pleased with and I still think I didn’t do a bad job all these years later. I think that I had a used Yashica SLR then, the first one we had and used 400 ASA film which was push processed at the shop. David told me about this method so that I would not need to use flash. These photos were taken in 1982.
Tim Finn c1982
Neil Finn, right, and the late Paul Hester
Neil Finn in his Split Enz days at Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide c1982
The Finn brothers
Vinyl albums are making a comeback although they are hideously expensive. I’m old enough to have seen the rise and fall of cassette tapes and CD’s imagine that! We do still get people coming to the Op Shop to look for pre recorded cassettes which surprised me. We usually have some, as well as vinyl albums and CD’s.
I always liked the artwork on album covers and all the bits and pieces you’d get with them, lyrics, photos, band bios. Sometimes you’d get an album with fancy coloured vinyl. You are never going to get a poster inside a CD cover and those things always break. Naomi and I still have our vinyl albums. Here are some of mine.
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
A couple of these were David’s Yardbirds, Small Faces, Led Zeppelin, Status Quo
Midnight Oil, Australian Crawl, Skyhooks, Mental As Anything , Cold Chisel